SEATTLE (Feb. 16, 2021) - Emerald City Music has announced a series of concerts and musical events that catapult the organization's brand of eclectic classical music experiences into the virtual format. Every month features a new cast of musicians who perform, share about their craft, and provide insights into the music they perform. The series is filmed in collaboration with two New York City-based filmmakers, Tristan Cook and Zac Nicholson, who bring their own artistic merits to this unique experience of chamber music.
"It is my great pleasure to share the Emerald City Music digital stage with our community during these uncertain times in the world. Rather than trying to replicate the live concert experience (which I believe cannot be done through the screen), these thematic programs are carefully crafted to bring the art forms of music and film together, enhancing these performances both visually and audibly. Although we look forward to the day we can be back in person, I am excited that ECM can continue to bring music to our audience by maintaining our creative and eclectic vision," said Kristin Lee, artistic director.
All concerts will be available on Emerald City Music's website and Vimeo platform for one month, at which point the next performance premieres. What's unique about the accessibility of these concerts is that listeners have a choice of how to gain access: pay for each performance for $20 (which supports future listening experiences), or share it on social media to gain free access.
"Our goal is to give listeners the power to share what they are excited about. During this time of pandemic, we took stalk and recognized that we are - at our core - a team of millennials who really love classical music. There's nothing we enjoy more than sharing good music with our friends! So we are really taking this to heart this spring, inviting as many people as possible to join in this joyful sharing experience with us!" said Andrew Goldstein, executive director.
This spring features the debut of many musicians at Emerald City Music, and the return of past favorites such as harpist Bridget Kibbey and flutist Tara Helen O'Connor.
(* ECM debut)
VIOLIN: Kristin Lee; Arnaud Sussmann*
VIOLA: Paul Neubauer*; Melissa Reardon*; Cynthia Phelps*
CELLO: Edward Arron*; Brook Speltz
HARP: Bridget Kibbey
FLUTE: Tara Helen O'Connor
ENSEMBLES: The Calidore String Quartet*: Jeffrey Myers (violin), Ryan Meehan (violin), Jeremy Berry (viola), Estelle Choi (cello)
FILM DIRECTORS: Tristan Cook*; Zac Nicholson*
AUDIO ENGINEER: Noriko Okabe*
Babel, featuring the Calidore String Quartet
The Calidore String Quartet joins Emerald City Music for an immersive week of music, from Wine Down Monday conversations to the premiere of Babel, featuring two monumental quartets by Schumann and Shostakovich.
" FEB 22 MON | 7:00pm PT: Our popular WINE DOWN MONDAY series continues. Cozy up with your favorite drink and join us on Zoom as members of the Calidore Quartet share why they love string quartets. The event occurs LIVE and is free with RSVP.
" FEB 26 FRI | 6:00pm PT: Experience our brand new BACKSTAGE series. We sit down with the Calidore Quartet and gain extra insight into the music before the concert premiere. Subscribe to our YouTube and Facebook channels to watch.
" FEB 26 FRI | 7:00pm PT: Babel concert premiere. When words fail, music speaks. The award-winning Calidore String Quartet pairs two quartets recently recorded for their newest album, Babel. These two works by Robert Schumann and Dmitri Shostakovich stem from bleak periods when each composer suffered, and overcame, depression. Their music transmits what occurs when music substitutes for language. In the case of Shostakovich, words aren't enough to fill the void of forbidden speech. Schumann uses music to sing the name of his wife, Clara. Filmed in Brooklyn, New York, by film director Zac Nicholson. Available for viewing February 26, 2021 through March 18, 2021.
" Artists: Calidore String Quartet: Jeffrey Myers (violin), Ryan Meehan (violin), Jeremy Berry (viola), Estelle Choi (cello)
" Program: R. SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartet no. 3 in A Major, op. 41 (1842); D. SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartet no. 9 in E-flat Major, op. 117 (1964)
One of chamber music's most iconic pieces in its history, Verklärte Nacht is an early programmatic piece by Arnold Schoenberg based on Richard Dehmel's poem about transformation, reconciliation, and humanity. Our March program, "Transfigured Night," features two string sextets of the hyper-romantic era, resulting in the most luscious and expressive sounds for strings.
" MAR 15 MON | 7:00pm PT: Our popular WINE DOWN MONDAY series continues. Cozy up with your favorite drink and join us on Zoom as violist Melissa Reardon shares about why she loves the viola. The event occurs LIVE and is free with RSVP.
" MAR 19 FRI | 6:00pm PT: Experience our brand new BACKSTAGE series. We sit down with the cast of "Transfigured Night" and gain extra insight into the music before the concert premiere. Subscribe to our YouTube and Facebook channels to watch.
" MAR 19 FRI | 7:00pm PT: "Transfigured Night" concert premiere. Two people are walking through a bare, cold wood; the moon keeps pace with them and draws their gaze. These romantic lines open Richard Dahmel's poem, "Verklärte Nacht," from which Schoenberg - a young composer who recently encountered the love of his life, Mathilde - drew inspiration for his rich and luscious string sextet. The work is paired with Strauss's sextet from his opera Capriccio, a romantic curtain-raiser that stands alone as a capstone of the string sextet genre. Offered in partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach. Filmed at the DiMenna Center in New York, New York, by film director Tristan Cook. Available for viewing March 19, 2021, through April 22, 2021.
" Artists: Arnaud Sussmann (violin), Kristin Lee (violin), Cynthia Phelps (viola), Melissa Reardon (viola), Edward Aaron, (cello), Brook Speltz (cello)
" Program: R. STRAUSS (1864-1949) Sextet from Capriccio, op. 85 (1942); A. SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) "Verklärte Nacht" ("Transfigured Night"), op. 4 (1899)
The sultry nature of the flute and harp was explored by French composers like Debussy and Saint-Saëns, elevating the sound palette of these instruments to a whole new level. Our featured program for the month of April is called "Reverie," a transporting evening filled with dreams and colors.
" APR 19 MON | 7:00pm PT: Our popular WINE DOWN MONDAY series continues. Cozy up with your favorite drink and join us on Zoom as harpist Bridget Kibbey shares about why she loves the harp. The event occurs LIVE and is free with RSVP.
" APR 23 FRI | 6:00pm PT: Experience our brand new BACKSTAGE series. We sit down with the cast of "Reverie" and gain extra insight into the music before the concert premiere. Subscribe to our YouTube and Facebook channels to watch.
" APR 23 FRI | 7:00pm PT: "Reverie" concert premiere. Three composers idealistically attempt to catapult their legacy forward by writing daring works. Opening the evening is Beethoven's "Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola," an informal piece where the composer displays his charming creativity in presenting an ensemble in which there is no bass voice. Saint-Saëns evocative "Fantaisie" follows, a stunning late-Romantic work that - while resisting the rising modernist tendencies of most other French composers of the day - displays the depths of his hyper-romantic vision of the future of music. Debussy's "Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp" concludes the program. The sonata is one of six that Debussy endeavored to write for pairings of various instruments, finishing three before he died of cancer at the onset of World War I. Filmed in Brooklyn, New York, by film director Tristan Cook. Available for viewing April 23, 2021.
" Artists: Tara Helen O'Connor (flute), Bridget Kibbey (harp), Kristin Lee (violin), Paul Neubauer (viola)
" Program: L.V.BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Serenade in D Major, Op. 25 for flute, violin, viola (1796); C. SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124 (1907); C. DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp, L. 137 (1915)
Courtesy of Emerald City Music